locavore http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2597/all en-US The Lowdown on Spending Less for Your Food but Getting More http://www.wisebread.com/the-lowdown-on-spending-less-for-your-food-but-getting-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-lowdown-on-spending-less-for-your-food-but-getting-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/130384035_0f47baddd6.jpg" alt="spring vegetables" title="spring vegetables sc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The last several years have brought wave after wave of new information about the food we put in our mouths and how it gets there. From <em>Fast Food Nation</em> to <em>The Omnivore's Dilemma</em> and <em>Animal, Vegetable, Miracle</em>, it can seem like there's more bad news every time we turn around. We eat too much. We eat the wrong things. Our food has additives we wouldn't recognize if they slapped us across the face in broad daylight.</p> <p>It's a daunting prospect to plow through all of this material to figure out what's real, what's paranoid, and what choices we want to make for the future. Whether we do that hard work or listen to the voices of others who have done it, many of us have developed convictions about eating less, eating local, and eating organic.</p> <p>These convictions about what we will and will not put in our mouths are all well and good when we're sitting at home making the grocery list, but what happens when we're standing in the grocery store debating between the conventional tomatoes, at .99 cents a pound, or the organic ones, which can run $2.49 and up? When our convictions about food clash with our convictions about money, who wins?</p> <p>Luckily, it doesn't have to be a knock-down, drag-out battle, because it's not a win-or-lose situation. In fact, it's quite possible to find the best quality food for yourself and your family without violating either set of mores.</p> <h2>Don't Shop the Stores</h2> <p>While most grocery chains now carry organic products (and many are beginning to carry local ones, too!), the prices they sell these healthy foods for is much higher than the prices you'd find the same items selling for in other venues. Check out your local farmer's market (find one in your area at <a href="http://www.localharvest.org">LocalHarvest</a>). These venues usually don't have the same markup that the chain store has because you're buying directly from the farmers. Without the middleman, you get wholesale prices on the same high quality items.</p> <h2>Pick and Choose</h2> <p>If there's not a farmer's market available in your area, or you can't get there because of time, transportation, or other reasons, pick the items that you buy local and/or organic and purchase conventionally the rest of the time. The <a href="http://www.ewg.org/">Environmental Working Group</a> has tested most of the more common fruits and vegetables for all sorts of pesticide and soil contaminants and offers this <a href="http://foodnews.org/index.php">handy buying guide</a> that lists the 12 items most likely to be contaminated as well as the 12 least likely. If you take it with you when you shop, you can avoid pesticides and needlessly high prices, all in one swoop (They also offer <a href="http://foodnews.org/fulllist.php">the whole list</a> of all the foods they tested and their relative pesticide load, if that's more your style).</p> <h2>Try a CSA</h2> <p>Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) started in Japan and has spread across the world. When you participate, you pay a fee for a share of the farm. They are able to use this money as capital for their food production, and in turn you receive a box of locally grown, organic fruit and/or vegetables an a regular basis. CSA boxes are an adventure. You'll get to try all kinds of produce that you might not even see in a grocery store, let alone pick up, bag, and take home. With decent internet access, you can always find recipes, and you can even find photos to identify items you don't recognize. On top of the fun factor, most CSA's do their best to keep their prices competitive with those available at the farmer's market, and some make a point to price their boxes lower, to reward those who choose to invest in the farm that way. Find a CSA near you via <a href="http://localharvest.org">LocalHarvest</a>, once again.</p> <h2>Grow Your Own</h2> <p>If you pick the produce out of your own garden, you not only have the satisfaction of having participated in making something you can eat (which is a lot cooler to experience than it sounds), but you also know exactly how the pests were controlled and you can calculate how much you're spending. JD, over at <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/">GetRichSlowly</a>, has done just this. You can read about <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/01/03/the-grs-garden-project-winners-and-losers-for-2008/">his conclusions from his 2008 garden</a>, or track his <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/08/29/the-grs-garden-project-august-2009-update/">progress this year</a>. As it turns out, many of the things you can grow yourself will turn out to be cheaper than the ones you can buy.</p> <h2>Do Your Best</h2> <p>Depending on where you live, finding easily accessible produce that makes you feel good about what you're eating and about your wallet may be easy, or it may be quite difficult. Whether you're as successful as you'd like to be or not, that thought counts for something. How you approach food is important, not only because the food itself is so important, but also because you'll be the first person to jump, vote, lobby, or whatever when opportunities to get the food you want do come to town. And they are coming. Slowly but surely, Americans are choosing to change the way they eat.</p> <p>Have you found any stellar ways to save on high-quality food? Let us know in the comments!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-lowdown-on-spending-less-for-your-food-but-getting-more">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/horizon-organic-milk-is-it-all-just-lies">Horizon Organic Milk: Is it All Just Lies?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt">Baby Carrots: The Frugal Idea That Isn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-shop-for-food-cheaply-without-a-tedious-grocery-list">Grocery Shopping for the Cheap and Lazy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink eat local eat well locavore organic Fri, 11 Sep 2009 13:00:03 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 3592 at http://www.wisebread.com Save the World and Save a Dime: Eat Locally http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-world-and-save-a-dime-eat-locally <p><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/64/223703668_de52877cd0_m.jpg" alt="tomater" width="240" height="171" /></p> <p>Paul Michael&#39;s recent post on <a href="/the-dirty-secrets-of-food-processing-strong-stomach-required">processed foods</a> and Andrea Dickson&#39;s on the <a href="/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">Manhattan family trying to live without impacting the environment</a> got me thinking. One one hand, Paul&#39;s exposing us to some very real perils in the industry responsible for pretty much everything we consume. On the other, Andrea tells us about a family going to very extreme measures to address these perils and more. It&#39;s admirable what the Manhattan familiy is doing, but living without toilet paper, or composting inside a city apartment are a bit much for most people. But there&#39;s a group of bloggers who offer a more feasible challenge, designed for sustainability, deliciousness, good stories, and now, even for saving a buck or two: eat locally.</p> <p>The <a href="http://eatlocalchallenge.com">Eat Local Challenge</a> can mean different things to different people. For some, it&#39;s a 100-mile radius, while for others, anything that comes from within their state is fair game. There may be exceptions, like soy sauce, or black pepper. It might be a commitment to reshape your entire diet, or just a single dish made exclusively from local foods brought to a Thanksgiving dinner. But the idea is, you start thinking about the food you&#39;re consuming. You ask questions from the employees at your local grocer, or at the farmer&#39;s market (a real haven for diverse, fresh local goods). You boost your local economy and eliminate the environmental costs of long-range transportation and packaging, <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4312591.stm">even more effectively than by eating organically</a>. </p> <p>It is a true challenge, but the payoff is an oasis from many of the issues introduced by food processing, not to mention delicious new taste experiences. Eating locally means you can&#39;t have everything all the time, but instead you get a feel for seasonality -- fruits and vegetables at the peak of flavor and ripeness. Plus, local produce is certainly fresher than pears shipped from China or cucumbers from Mexico (unless of course, you happen to be living in China or Mexico). </p> <p>The folks at Eat Local Challenge have been churning out a variety of challenges over the last couple years, and the latest focuses on budget: The Penny-wise Eat Local Challege. For one week in April, they will be eating locally, but also staying within the budget of the average American, which according to the Department of Labor, this could be as low as $121 a week for a single-income household. No doubt there will be trying moments, but that&#39;s part of budgeting, right?</p> <p>Here&#39;s some more info:</p> <p><a href="http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com/2007/03/announcing_the_.html">The official announcement of the Penny Wise Challenge</a> </p> <p><a href="http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com/2007/03/all_you_need_to.html">Nuts and bolts details of the Penny Wise Challenge</a> </p> <p><a href="http://fogcity.blogs.com/jen/2005/08/10_reasons_to_e.html">10 Reasons to Eat Local</a> </p> <p><a href="http://www.lifebeginsat30.com/elc/2006/04/a_few_tips_for_.html">Tips for Eating Locally</a> </p> <p> <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200783,00.html">Time Magazine Article on the 100-mile Diet</a> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tannaz-sassooni">Tannaz Sassooni</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-world-and-save-a-dime-eat-locally">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-on-budget-while-eating-paleo">How to Stay on Budget While Eating Paleo</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-these-15-delicious-sheet-pan-meals">Save Time and Money With These 15 Delicious Sheet Pan Meals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-dishes-made-better-with-salsa">15 Delicious Dishes Made Better With Salsa</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink budgeting eat local challenge locavore omnivore's dilemma penny wise sustainability Tue, 27 Mar 2007 01:01:55 +0000 Tannaz Sassooni 400 at http://www.wisebread.com